What is douching? The word “Douche” comes from the French word meaning to “wash” or “soak.” Douching is the act of flushing out your vagina with a mixture of liquids, such as water, vinegar, fragrances, and antiseptics. Douching kits sold in drugstores come in a bottle or bag with an attached tube to spray the fluid mixture into the vagina (WebMD).
Now, we’ve all heard that douching is the best way to maintain a clean lady lair downstairs, but is it really true? Although douching has been around for decades, Medical experts say that douching doesn’t “clean” vagina like we think it does, and it can in fact be harmful to a woman’s health.
In the United States, about one in four women ages 15–44 practice vaginal douching. Medical studies have found no concrete evidence of douching providing any substantial health benefits, or preventing STIs and bacterial infections. In fact, douching may be doing the opposite. The harmful chemicals in soaps and douches can create a pH imbalance within the vagina, which can lead to bacterial vaginitis or yeast infections.
But worry not! We have done the research and are here to debunk all the myths you have heard all over the years; so you and your vagina can live together in healthy harmony.
Myth: Douching helps remove unnecessary bacteria from inside the vagina.
Fact: Vaginas have a natural bacterial growth that is thrown off balance when women regularly douche. This bacteria helps keep the vagina clean from debris and repels foreign bacteria that could cause infection. The vagina is an amazing biological system; a healthy vagina creates a wall of mucus along the vaginal canal that helps cleanse itself of discharge, blood, and sexual fluids. When this cleansing occurs, we will see it in the form of vaginal discharge. So yes, your favorite pair of underwear may be a little gooey, BUT your vagina is clean and happy and healthy; and isn’t that what life is all about?
Myth: Douching gets rid of feminine odor.
Fact: Despite what media and feminine hygiene advertisements want us to believe, the vagina doesn’t smell like peaches and cream. A mild, musky smelly vagina is completely natural. It’s only if the odor is severe and persisting, and is accompanied by a thick discharge, that you should seek medical help. Chances are you might have a mild vaginal infection that can be cured with antibiotics. Consult your doctor and get the right remedy for you.
Pro-tip: A natural, healthy way to regulate your vaginal odor is to eat a healthy diet and maintain good hygiene. Rid your diet of excess acids and carbohydrates, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and regularly clean your vagina with unscented soap and warm water. All douching would do is temporarily mask any feminine odor, like an air freshener. And nobody wants a vagina that smells like “mountain breeze.”
Myth: Douching right after sex can prevent unwanted pregnancy and STIs
Fact: Douching can NOT prevent pregnancy and should never be used for birth control. The only way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy is to use protection and/or birth control.
Douching actually has a negative effect on pregnancy as well. When women douche, the bacteria present in the vagina is pushed up further into the vaginal canal and into the fallopian tubes and ovaries. As a result, women can have trouble getting pregnant and even a have a high risk of early childbirth.
Douching also rids your vagina of the natural bacteria that helps to prevent the contraction of STIs… So, this is a complete myth. The best way to avoid an STI is by practicing safe sex and using protection.
So ladies, don’t spend your precious time and money on something your vagina will NOT appreciate. She’s an independent organ, so let her do her thing and keep you healthy!